What's Your Most Reliable Cookware Item/Set? Seeking Suggestions for Own Use and Gift!

Tired of thin bottomed pots and pans that turn the middle of my food into magma (lava because it's above ground?), while the edges are still raw. No more non-stick items that quickly start infusing my food with a peppering of black surface flakes after a few uses!

What's your go-to pot/pan? What do you wish you'd've purchased? Bonus points for suggestions that have OzB deals attached.

Gift budget is $250, own-use budget is $200, thanks!


  • I abuse my cook ware so I usually just use the basic no frills stuff from IKEA.

    It works fine for me, they do only last me 2-3 years and after that I just replace them. The ongoing costs of replacing my frypan in a 10 year period is probably much cheaper than buying one swanky frypan from a department store.

    Typically restaurants use mid-weight carbon steel pans, they are cheap and inexpensive. If in doubt just buy what the pros use. You'll be surprised to hear though that restaurants don't buy the expensive stuff, they go with cheap.

    • Thanks for the reply, I thought "What do the pros use?" might open up the price range a bit much. I'll do some research on mid-weight carbon steel!

      • an stainless steel commercial frypan, such as a Scanpan, goes for around $50-60 bucks if you know where to shop. Perhaps wait for a ebay coupon code for the best bang-for-buck purchases.

        Carbon steel pans, you can find them on any hospitality supplies store. You might want to visit a local one, just search on Google maps for "kitchen supplies" or "hospitality supplies"
        e.g https://www.southernhospitality.com.au/categories/cookware/f...

        If you can't afford a carbon steel pan, just buy a cast iron pan (any brand will do, even IKEA) they are pretty much the same except for some differences:

        1. Cast iron pans tend to have vertical sides, while carbon steel pans have sloped sides.
        2. Cast iron pans are heavier, carbon steel is lighter because they are not as thick.
        3. Cast iron pans have a rougher and porous surface, requiring you to season them properly before use. Carbon steel also requires seasoning too, but are less porous and gives you a better non-stick surface.
        • Just noticed you added more and the info is great. I'll be sticking with your original idea for myself. The black steel (same as carbon steel, right?) pan seems like a choice purchase.

          Edit: I included the amazon link to what I was going to purchase, and it tripped off the affiliate alarm. It's a Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel 11 Inch Frying Pan.

          I also mentioned that I'm looking for a nice cookware set for the gift. Cheers for the assist!

          Edit 2: [Off-topic] Just had a closer read of the affiliate/referral link rules and I think it was a false-positive. I only linked the Amazon page of the pan

  • All your kitchen items should be decent and cheap.
    The only two items you should own that are expensive are one high-precision kitchen knife, and another fancy pan that's non-stick.

    A dull knife will slow you down, make imperfect cuts and be a hazard.
    A scratching and sticky pan will burn food and trap microbes, causing people to yell at you like Ramsay.

    • My issue is finding decent AND cheap. Never had anything cheap that was decent, and anything decent used to be out of my price range. Was gifted a set of folded steel knives, but tbh they're more at the price of decorative than daily use. I use a Henckel's chef knife for daily choppin'

      What I'm looking for are some reliable pots and pans. @scrimshaw suggested mid-weight carbon steel, any recommendations along those lines?

      • Deals on kitchenware aren't my forte.
        But like I said, you just need cheap (or "decent enough") kitchenware for all/most items.
        But the two items I said above is where you shouldn't cut corners.

        So it's not really about finding good deals.
        So much so, that its about managing your budget.

  • The non-stick frying pan (Crofton one) I bought from Aldi is doing fairly well. Lasted at least one year (I can't remember when I bought that one specifically). That said, I kinda don't have something to compare it to since I used to live with my brother who've destroyed most of the pans and I bought that after he left.

  • Looking for "always on sale" try Peters of Kensington or Victorias Basement. Good places for upmarket homewares at 1/2 price.

  • Whenever I need new cookware I always hit up Harris Scarfe:


  • My go-to skillet is a vintage 10-inch Findlay No. 8 cast iron frying pan (made in Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada). I picked it up at a Sunday market for $8 (after bargaining the price down from $10) a few years ago.

    They don't make them like they used to so I prefer to buy vintage cookware and I steer clear of cookware with "non-stick" coatings.

  • Stone Dine?

  • I have a Jamie Oliver (yeah, stupid name branding) Tefal non-stick frying pan that I think cost $120 or so. Very very price I felt but even a few years later I still love it, goes in the oven and in the dishwasher. I have 3 other frying pans, 2 cheap ones where the bottoms go round when they heat up (v annoying) and one cast iron one I can't lift. I'll be interested to try the Ikea pans when my beloved pan finally dies.

    I have some Raco saucepans which are fine (came as a set with the horrible frying pans), got from Harris Scarfe on sale.

    I never buy stuff that really has to be hand washed (stupid cast iron), if it says hand wash only and it's cheap I'll just throw it in the dishwasher anyway, like wooden spoons I buy from wollies, yeah they'd last longer if I didn't but it's not worth washing up for.

    I have some genuine Tupperware, which is high quality, but the hassle of finding someone selling it plus the high prices mean I'd much rather just buy decor stuff instead.

  • depends on the type of cooking and cuisine…

    not all knives are created equal…

    find the right knife for the right job and definitely needs to be sharp.

  • I have a scanpan impact set that comes up on sale quite often at Peters of Kensington and Kitchen Warehous - Nice heavy duty stuff and cheap. I mean sometimes i find that the larger pan can lose a bit of heat, and a bunch of water can take a while to boil, but still heats evenly and works well. Also easy to clean up, they still look like new and I have had them for 3 years.
    I also have a Chasseur cast iron pot which works well as well as a Crofton (aldi) cast iron pot which seems to be going just as strong.